View Full Version : fishing the sunny spots

03-11-2007, 11:52 AM
I've been told by several experienced fly fishermen that in the winter I should fish the sunny spots in the streams because 'that is where the water is warmer.' Thinking about that deeper, I wonder. Do these 'warmer water spots' actually exist? Is that the factor that influences the fish to those spots or could it be that their body temperature is raised by these sun rays to a more active level from a lower..less active/eating level in the non-sunny areas? In other words is it the fish, itself, that is reacting to the sun's rays and not the fast moving cold water actually getting warmer? If the water does, indeed, change temperatures for an instance, couldn't that change be measured from temperature samples 'above and below' that spot?

Thinking further, this reminds me of my standing under a river bank tree in the cold wind and then moving out into the sunlight. It seems that the wind temperature does not vary. Further, if I have on dark or black clothing I absorb more of the sun's warmth. Could this be true of fish with darker colors? Do the darker skinned fish tend to feed more often in the sun spots than the lighter? I'd surely like to hear what you guys think.


Hugh Hartsell
03-11-2007, 12:57 PM
I think that what is being missed here, when you're talking about what happens in these sunny spots is---what is happening to the insects down in the water where the sun is hitting. That is the important thing and the reaction that is taking place with the insects is what causes the fish to become active in those certain spots for a short period of time. Just a few minutes of sunlight hitting a stretch of water will cause certain midges to hatch, as well as flies like BWOs, and possibly Little Black Winter Stones. This insect activity is all the fish have to feed on for long periods of time and it get's their interest in a hurry. Don't overlook these places and mark them in your memory for future use in colder weather.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tn.

03-11-2007, 05:04 PM
I've also noticed for sure that in the winter if you can find a rock or wall that is getting direct sunlight, you better bounce a fly off it or float one by it.


Byron Begley
03-11-2007, 05:47 PM
I'd like to know if the water is really warmer in the sunny spots. I tell people all the time to fish the sunny spots in the winter but I've never tested the water at a point going into a sunny spot and compared it to the water temperature going out. I do know that the fishing is better in cold water when the sun is on it. Interesting.